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Constitutional Court overturns ruling sentencing "Semana" magazine editor to three days in jail

(RSF/IFEX) - On 31 March 2009, the Constitutional Court overturned a previous ruling that had sentenced "Semana" magazine editor Alejandro Santos to three days in prison. The court considered the corrections that the magazine had made to an article published in 2008 to be sufficient. The legal action against Santos resulted from a complaint launched by Judge José Alfredo Escobar Araujo after his name was mentioned in the article in question. Escobar Araujo felt that the article damaged his honour and, as such, proceeded with legal action against the magazine. Santos was sentenced to both the three days in jail and a fine after refusing to modify, according to criteria set out by the courts, a correction that the magazine had already published. The Constitutional Court came to the conclusion that the courts in ordering a media outlet to publish a correction cannot impose the exact manner in which that correction is to be printed.

RSF noted that similar criteria should be applied in the case of Daniel Coronell, the director of the "Noticias Uno" programme, who is facing similar legal action in a separate case.

Updates the Santos case: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/102024

For further information on the Coronell case, see:
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/101925

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